Posted on: 25 February 2015

Investment of time and money

As of 7 January 2015, 12% of the projects listed on Kickstarter finished having never received a single pledge. Of the almost 200,000 projects launched since the platform began, more than 116,000 were not fully funded by their deadline. That’s almost 60%.

So it’s easy to see why people put a lot of effort into their crowdfunding campaign up front – they want to be part of the successful 40% and know that putting the legwork in first makes a big difference.

However, the nature of the beast makes it very easy to spend a lot of hours and a lot of money publishing your project, raising its profile and engaging with your audience, without keeping track of whether the money you’ll raise will cover those costs and the future spend for which you’re raising the money in the first place.

Time

Everyone knows that to make crowdfunding work for your business you’ll have to research the different types of crowdfunding, produce business and marketing plans, secure 30% of the funding before you’ve started, manage a multitude of relationships and much, much more.

All these vital actions take time – time to think, plan, action, manage and adjust. With only so much headspace, it’s easy to become disconnected with what’s going on in your business right now, resulting in you missing opportunities or, worse still, making costly mistakes.

Money

Putting some money into delivering your crowdfunding campaign can be a worthwhile investment. Producing a powerful video that stands out from all the others, for example, can make a big difference to whether you reach your funding target or go away with nothing. Paying an agency to improve the quality and scope of your digital marketing campaigns may also be sensible. In fact, there are advisors for pretty much every aspect of crowdfunding who are willing to relieve you of a bob or two to ensure you deliver a ‘successful’ crowdfunding campaign.

But how do you know when you’re spending more than you’re ever going to get back through the campaign?

  • Keep a tally

Write down how much time and how much money you’re spending on your campaign. Total it up every week or month and compare the overall figures with how much you’re spending on other aspects of your business, as well as what you intend to spend on the project for which you’re raising the funds. If the figures don’t tally, find out why and ask yourself how or whether to continue.

  • Don’t be Jack of all trades

Spreading yourself too thinly by trying to do everything could result in you under-achieving on key objectives. You’ll likely lose sight of the priorities and waste time on activities that won’t make the biggest difference to the success of the campaign. So don’t be a Jack of all trades. Identify your specialisms and exceed at delivering on them, and get help from those with the right skills for the other bits.

  • Seek counsel

Learning from the experiences of others is invaluable in business, and that includes when you’re launching a successful crowdfunding campaign. So don’t be afraid to get in touch with those who have managed to get it spot on and ask for their hints and tips on where to focus your effort and when.

  • Know where the stop button is

Raising money through crowdfunding is like jumping on the world’s highest rollercoaster, learning how to strap yourself in whilst upside down and then keeping the attention of 1,000s of people sitting around you. It’s a challenge and a thrill and the reward at the end makes the challenges worth it. But there may come a point when you decide it’s time to get off. Hitting the stop button takes a lot of guts. But knowing when you’ve reached that point and acknowledging that crowdfunding isn’t for you is fundamental in saving your efforts for something that will deliver the results that you seek.

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